Difference Between LAN, MAN and WAN

Comparison Between LAN, MAN, and WAN

LAN, MAN, and WAN Difference

A computer network is a system in which multiple computers are connected to each other to share information and resources. Computer networks are categorized into three basic types based on their size, distance coverage, data transfer speed, and their reach: Local Area Network (LAN), Wide Area Network (WAN), and Metropolitan Area Network (MAN). 

Difference Between LAN, MAN and WAN
Difference Between LAN, MAN, and WAN

Comparison Chart

Stands For Local Area Network Metropolitan Area Network Wide Area Network
Definition LAN (Local Area Network) is a computer network covering a small geographic area, like a home, office, school, or group of buildings. A metropolitan area network (MAN) is a network with a size between a LAN and a WAN. It normally covers the area inside a town or a city. WAN (Wide Area Network) is a computer network that covers a broad area (e.g., any network whose communications links cross metropolitan, regional, or national boundaries over a long distance).
Covers Local areas only (e.g., homes, offices, schools) covers the area inside a town or a city. Large geographic areas (e.g., cities, states, nations)
Ownership of Network Private Private or Public Private or Public
Speed High speed (1000 Mbps) moderate speed(44 to 155 Mbps) Less speed (150 Mbps)
Maintenance Easy Difficult Difficult
Propagation Delay Short Moderate Long
Tolerance LANs tend to have fewer problems associated with them, as there is a smaller number of systems to deal with. Less fault tolerance WANs tend to be less fault-tolerant as they consist of a large number of systems.
Bandwidth High bandwidth Less bandwidth Low bandwidth
Congestion Less congestion More congestion More congestion
Example College, School, Hospital. The network in city-building can be a MAN The Internet is a good example of a WAN

LAN(Local Area Network)

  • It is a private own network for a single building or multiple-building of up to a few kilometers.
  • They are mostly used to connect personal computers and workstations in company offices and factories to share resources and exchange.
  • LANs are easy to design and troubleshoot
  • In LAN, all the Computers are connected to a single
  • Different types of topologies such as Bus, Ring, Star, and Tree are
  • The data transfer rate for LAN is up to 10 Gbits/s.
  • They transfer data at high speeds. The high transmission rate is possible in LAN because of the short distance between various computer
  • They exist in a limited geographical


  • LAN transfers data at high
  • LAN technology is generally less

MAN (Metropolitan Area Network)

  • MAN is a larger version of LAN which covers an area that is larger than the covered by LAN but smaller than the area covered by City
  • A metropolitan area network or MAN covers a city. The best-known example of a MAN is the cable TV network available in many City
  • MAN connects two or more Computers.
  • At first, the companies began jumping into the business, getting contracts from city governments to wire up an entire
  • The next step was television programming and even entire channels designed for cable

WAN (Wide Area Network)

  • WAN covers a large area, often a country.
  • WAN links different metropolitan countries and national boundaries thereby enabling easy communication.
  • It may be located entirely within a state or a country or it may be interconnected around the world.
  • It contains a collection of machines running user programs. We will follow traditional usage and call these machines
  • The communication between different users of WAN is established using leased telephone lines or satellite links and similar.

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